Wadena Board asks Region 5 to Help Create a County Economic Development Authority
By Rin Porter
At the board meeting held Oct. 24, Wadena Commissioners asked Melissa Rademacher, Region 5 Economic Development Commission, to assist the board in following Minnesota Statutes 469, to create an Economic Development Authority.
Commissioners invited Region 5 to send a staff member to talk with them and facilitate the forming of a statutorily-required committee of 11 to 15 people, who will develop a recommendation for “the preferred organizational option for a county economic development service provider….”
Rademacher talked with board members and asked the board to send an official scope of work to her. After receiving this, she will begin drafting a plan and studying the previous feasibility study conducted for the county by Region 5 in 2008. She will return to the board with a report on Nov. 5.
The board also heard the official report of the State Auditor regarding the county’s 2012 financial statements and practices. Bob Johnson delivered the report on behalf of the Office of the Minnesota State Auditor.
Johnson stated that the county had shown strong improvement in its fund balances. He reported that the State Auditor had issued “an unmodified report”, which is the same thing as “an unqualified opinion” – the kind of report that was issued in previous years. The term means that the county is doing a good job in accounting for its finances, federal programs, and other audited practices.
Johnson pointed out a few areas for improvement. Auditor/Treasurer Judy Taves said she was pleased with the report – her first experience with state auditors in her new position with the county.
The board also held a public hearing to allow testimony from the public about the county’s proposed Precious Metal Dealer License and associated fee. No one appeared. After the public hearing ended, the board approved the License Application and fee of $75 which will be charged for the License. Minnesota Statutes 325F requires the county to license anyone engaging in or transacting business as a Precious Metal Dealer.
In other business, the board:
- approved the purchase of a new snow plow accessory package for one of the county’s newly-purchased used Ford F350 trucks, from Aldrich Repair, for $6,171.25, and approved the repair and installation of an older model snow plow on the other used Ford F350, at an estimated cost of $1,500 from Aldrich Repair.
- tabled until Nov. 21 a motion to establish a one-half cent sales tax in the county whose proceeds would be used to fund local road projects, effective April 1.
- discussed a Solid Waste Road Tour to be held later this year or early next year, to allow commissioners to inspect the recycling facilities of Becker and Otter Tail counties, and the progress of the expansion of the Prairie Lakes Solid Waste Management Authority facility at Perham. The tour will provide commissioners with information before they make any decisions about upgrading the county’s recycling facilities at the Transfer Station.
- learned that BHH Partners, the county’s architecture firm, will pay $650 towards the remodeling of the bench seating in the new grandstand at the county fairgrounds, which has been determined to be unsatisfactory.